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UPR invests $1.3M in virtual classrooms at Mayagüez campus

With an investment of nearly $1.3 million from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, the University of Puerto Rico’s Mayagüez Campus (RUM, in Spanish), enabled 104 virtual classrooms that are designed to offer classes in-person and remotely simultaneously.

School officials offered a demo of the new technology, which will be extended to a total of 174 classrooms at the RUM’s four academic programs and the Isla Laboratorio Magueyes in Lajas, said Dean of Students Jonathan Muñoz-Barreto, who headed the project.

“It fills us with great satisfaction to see this initiative materialized, which gives us the ability to expand our academic offer in different modalities with suitable technological equipment so that the student can integrate remotely,” said Agustín Rullán-Toro, rector of the RUM.

“I appreciate the effort of the human resources of the Information Technology Center and the workshops of the RUM’s Buildings and Grounds Department, for this excellent work that allows us to strengthen our educational mission of forging professionals of excellence,” ne said.

Each room is being equipped with an intelligent sound system that includes two speaker bars and microphones; a high-definition camera with pan and zoom capabilities; LED screen and projector; and a 65-inch monitor, which allows both the teacher and in-person students to observe remote students to maintain a group experience. The system includes a new dual monitor computer for teacher use.

“It’s exciting to see how we have concluded this initial phase that reaches more than 100 classrooms on our campus,” said Muñoz-Barreto.

“The conversion of these spaces to virtual classrooms allows us to offer courses in a hybrid mode, which reduces the density of students in a classroom,” he said.

“In the future we can also design varied academic offerings in which students from other UPR campuses and universities can access our academic offerings without having to be physically on campus,” Muñoz-Barreto said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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